Chalk a big one up for metals in the ongoing battle with engineering plastics for applications that reduce weight of cars. Novelis Inc, an Indian-owned spin-off from Alcan, will supply aluminum sheet for the hood of the 2008 Buick Enclave. Novelis describes itself as the world’s leading supplier of high performance aluminum sheet for use in automotive applications. The Enclave is a beautifully designed vehicle that was first shown at the Detroit Auto Show in 2006. It’s a cousin to GMC’s Acadia crossover vehicle, which also features an aluminum hood made with Novelis sheet. Both vehicles are built on GM’s all-new Lambda unibody architecture. Aluminum sheet for the Enclave and the Acadia is supplied from Novelis plants in Oswego, NY, and Kingston, Ontario
Dow Chemical and several other companies have launched a program in Omaha, Neb. to divert about 36 tons of plastics from landfills in its first phase, and convert it into energy used for cement production.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
Some next-generation bio-based materials are superior in performance to their petro-based counterparts, but also face some commercial challenges. This is especially true of certain biopolymers, adhesives, coatings, and advanced materials.
Cars and other vehicles, as well as electronics and medical devices, continue to lead the use cases for the new plastics products we've been seeing, as engineers design products for tougher environments.
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